O Comic Con 2018 to feature ‘Family Affair,’ ‘Sesame Street’ actors among celebrities

A cosplayer dressed as Elvira, Mistress of Darkness, at last year's O Comic Con.
A cosplayer dressed as Elvira, Mistress of Darkness, at last year’s O Comic Con.

From a plush New York apartment to a village to outer space, this year’s O Comic Con promises to deliver some nostalgia along with current pop culture. The fourth—year event features a 1960s television star, a Village People, as well as wrestling greats and other sports and entertainment celebrities. And let’s not forget the cosplayers. O Comic Con runs July 13-15.

A throwback to my childhood, “Family Affair” star Kathy Garver, who played “Cissy” on the CBS comedy series about a bachelor, who raises his brother’s orphaned children, along with the help of his butler, Mr. French. While she may be best known for her five-year stint on “Family Affair,” Garver owns an impressive acting resume, with almost 90 credits listed on IMD.com. Besides appearing in movies, such as “The Princess Diaries,” Garver is a noted voice actor. She has lent her voice talents to projects including a couple of “Spider-Man” series and “Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos.”

O Comic Con does a great job bringing a variety of celebrities to the three-day pop culture convention at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. Though not “A list” performers, the convention offers fans an opportunity to meet and visit with a bevy of celebrities. I appreciate that philosophy. It gives people like Lisa and me a chance to meet more people. The Q&A sessions are usually packed with fans.

Ray Park dons a Darth Maul pose with a single light saber. Fans went crazy when he did this.
Ray Park dons a Darth Maul pose with a single light saber. Fans went crazy when he did this.

Actors and pop culture

If you’re a fan of “Y.M.C.A.,” then you’ll love seeing Randy Jones. Known as the Cowboy in the 1970s disco band, Jones is a noted performer, appearing in more than 30 television series and movies, as well as stage productions.

Peter Macon’s acting career is impressive. From cable series “Shameless” and “Bosch,” to his current gig as “Bortus” on Fox’s “The Orville,” Macon shows a range with his acting. I’m a fan of “Orville” and am excited to see him and sit in on his Question-and-Answer session.

In addition to these performers, fans will be eager to head over to “Sesame Street,” where they can visit with Alan – Hooper’s shopkeeper – and Gordon, who has lived on the Street for four decades. Alan Muraoka and Roscoe Orman are the latest actors from the PBS and HBO series to appear at O Comic Con. Last year, Big Bird himself charmed visitors. While both actors have additional acting credits, most people will recognize them from “Sesame Street.”

Carroll Spinney has performed as Big Bird on "Sesame Street" since its beginning.
From last year’s O Comic Con: Carroll Spinney has performed as Big Bird on “Sesame Street” since its beginning.

Scott Norton and Booker T of the wrestling world will pile drive fans into submission…only kidding. The veteran wrestling stars – each have been champions in their leagues – will be available for photos and autographs, as well as Q&A sessions. Norton, who served as a bodyguard for the late Prince on a couple of his movie sets, appeared in “Over the Top,” Sylvester Stallone’s arm wrestling movie. Booker T is a six-time champion and has wrestled with the WCW and WWE.

Illustrators, cosplay

Creative legends Phil Hester and Bob Hall headline a group of 17 artists, illustrators and authors expected to attend O Comic Con. If you haven’t participated in a session led by one of the creative people, I highly recommend you do so. Learning about their experiences and what motivates them to create and illustrate characters, such as the Green Arrow, Captain America and The Avengers provides an insider’s look at comic books and graphic novels.

O Comic Con
Artist Phil Hester at work.

Cosplay fans look forward to attending O Comic Con. Cosplayers take their craft seriously and create realistic outfits. Cosplayers and their fans will enjoy meeting a quartet of cosplay celebrities – Papa Bear, Baroness Von T, Termina and Seaveela. The cosplay actors will share their  love for the genre, as well as performing experiences.

Cosplayers go into great detail in creating their costumes.
Cosplayers go into great detail in creating their costumes.

In addition to the celebrities and character watching, convention goers can sit in on a variety of panels. From comic con trivia to story time, there should be something to satisfy all tastes. I’m interested in sitting in on “Soundtracks Role in Nerdy Movies,” which looks at how music scores are created for movies. I know the moderator, Randy, who hosts “Soundtrack Alley” podcast.

As always, O Comic Con offers a fun weekend of activities. This will be the fourth year we will cover the event and is one of our favorite projects. O Comic Con opens at 1 p.m. July 13, with the last session beginning at 7 p.m. On July 14, doors open at 10 a.m. with the costume contest closing out the day at 6 p.m. The comic con starts at 9:30 a.m. July 15 with the final session at 4 p.m. We hope to see you there.

For more information on O Comic Con, such as admission fess and complete schedule, please visit www.ocomiccon.com.